Minnesta got a big lift from two homegrown pitchers and Chicago received foreign aid via a hurler from Mexico, but Texas got no help from its imported prize, Bert Blyleven. The Twins (5-2) were bolstered by Dave Goltz, who was born in Pelican Rapids, Minn., and by Tom Burgmeier of St. Paul. Goltz (6-2) beat Cleveland 7-2, and reliever Burgmeier (3-0) blanked Boston for six innings in a 10-4 win, slicing his ERA to 0.74, the best in the majors. Rookie Francisco Barrios of Chicago (4-3), who was born in Hermosillo, Mexico, picked up his first big-league save when he held off Cleveland 3-2 in relief. Then, during a Mexican fiesta in Milwaukee, Barrios won his first start by downing the Brewers 12-5 on his 23rd birthday. Blyleven, who hails from Zeist, Holland, had given up only three homers in 106 innings before being tagged for three more in a 7-5 loss to New York. Texas (5-1), though, stayed in hot pursuit of Kansas City (page 22).
Two slow-starting A's (4-3) were also on the move. Gene Tenace, who had not homered all year, did so four times. And Rollie Fingers, who had only four saves in the season's first nine weeks, doubled his total.
Leading the majors in strikeouts was Frank Tanana of California (1-5), who fanned 10 as he handcuffed New York 2-0. That gave him 113 strikeouts in 112 innings.
KC 35-19 TEX 31-21 CHI 27-24 MINN 27-26 OAK 27-30 CAL 23-36
The Red Sox (3-3) were again buffeted by the internal storms that have unsettled them this season. At the vortex were Carlton Fisk, Fred Lynn and Rick Burleson, all unsigned and all on the verge of being dealt away before the June 15 trading deadline. Fisk and Manager Darrell Johnson had a shouting match on Friday. The next day Fisk missed the team bus to the ball park, arrived late and was benched. When another bus left Fenway Park to take the Sox to the airport for the start of a road trip, Lynn and Burleson chanted, "Goodby, Fenway. Goodby, Fenway." Said one Boston official, "Strictly bush." The Sox hadn't helped matters when they lost two of three games against Oakland despite hitting eight home runs.
Baltimore Manager Earl Weaver, normally the most loquacious of men, said, "I just don't know what to say." Rendering him tongue-tied were eight straight losses, during which the Orioles were outscored 48-22 as they fell from second place to fifth. Reggie Jackson, however, spoke up. After Saturday's 7-6 loss to the Royals in which teammate Lee May was twice hit by pitches, Jackson said that if Oriole pitchers did not "hit somebody tomorrow, then I'll walk off this team. But first I'll fight them [the Royals] myself. So I get whipped. So what?"
When it came to speaking up, Player- Manager Frank Robinson of Cleveland (3-4) let his bat do the talking. After refusing to allow the White Sox extra time between games of a doubleheader in Chicago for an on-field promotion, Robinson was told that Sox President Bill Veeck might cancel his scheduled trip to Cleveland for a Welcome Back game. Robinson thereupon relented. He got in his licks five days later, celebrating Welcome Back Veeck Night in Municipal Stadium with a two-run pinch homer in the 13th for a 5-4 Indian win.
Two other dramatic homers helped New York (4-3) build its lead to six games. Oscar Gamble's three-run blast in the ninth scuttled Oakland 5-2, and Graig Nettles' two-run drive in the eighth beat Texas 7-5.